Mission and Vision
Park Books & LitCoLab is an independent bookstore that seeks to impact our community by inspiring readers and providing a quality selection of new books. We are passionate about reading and writing and aim to provide an environment that will host a variety of events where a healthy exchange of ideas can take place and people can come together. We will provide a nurturing environment for all learners in our Literacy Collaboratory where readers of all ages can come to grow in their skills and their love of literacy.
We are committed to engaging our community and giving back to communities outside of our own by providing books and literacy specialists to those with limited access.
While in graduate school at Loyola University of Maryland, a group of dynamic teachers met while studying for their Master degrees in Education, specifically, Literacy. Each had decided that they wanted to not only be excellent teachers, but also to fully understand the science behind reading and writing. Late night study sessions turned into lasting friendships and upon graduation, they joined the community of reading specialists who serve the children and families of Severna Park and other local communites of Anne Arundel County.
Melody, a middle school Language Arts teacher, often witnessed many students struggling not only in her classroom but also in classes where they had been previously strong. Teachers and parents were perplexed as to what was causing issues. Is it anxiety? A reading issue? Are they simply not engaged? She began offering private reading assessments to support families struggling to understand why their children were not successful in school and was able to offer some answers and solutions to help the child find success.
Melody Wukitch, MS. Ed.
Hi! Welcome to Park Books & LitCoLab. I truly believe that literacy is a human right and every single adult and child deserves a place where they can go and be surrounded by books, be challenged by new thoughts and ideas and engage in conversations about all sorts of topics. As an educator and K-12 Certified Reading Specialist, I have worked with children of all ages, with varying strengths and weaknesses and I have been honored to be part of their growth as readers and writers. I have also had the pleasure to assist adults with undiagnosed processing disabilities as part of literacy projects within the local correctional system. I don’t just believe that literacy unlocks opportunity–I’ve seen it happen! My network of literacy specialists, special educators and classroom teachers are anxious to supplement the children of our community who may be disengaged, are new or struggling readers or those who simply want to enjoy a reading community like ours!
I decided to open Park Books & LitCoLab because I felt as though our community deserves an independent bookstore and a place where children and adults can come and grow in their love of reading. I understand that Amazon is a click away but there’s just something magical about a bookstore! I can’t wait to partner with all of you on your path of literacy!
The LitCoLab is great! Why a bookstore too?
Why not?! Our community deserves a quality, independent bookstore. While we have a beautiful library, we do not have a store where the community can gather and browse the shelves for new releases and valuable classics. Independent bookstores support the core values of a community. The store will offer community meeting rooms that will allow us to create, convene and connect. Our worlds have become virtual and our faces have been covered by masks. Within the bookstore we will be able to meet (even in masks), experience our world and new worlds together…the way we’ve always wanted it to be.
Park Books offers a safe, fun and inviting pathway into the literacy lab. It is our hope at Park Books & LitCoLab that children and teens will enroll in sessions where they feel as though they are experiencing reading and writing in a fun and engaging way. Reading should never be a chore.